All photos by Manu Sassoonian

The site of the necropolis of Bura-Asinda-Sikka in the lower Niger River valley in southwest Niger was discovered accidentally in 1975 by a young hunter who found two small terracotta heads. Three years later the discovery was reported to the Departement d'art et archaeologie (IRSH: l'Institut de Recherches en sciences humaines de l'Universite de Niamey). In 1983, Boube Gado (1944–2015)—head of the Department of Art and Archaeology, IRSH, Niamey—conducted a quick but rigorous archaeological excavation there, financed by the University of Niamey and the French Minister of Relations Exterieures. Among other things, Gado found tubular and oval-shaped anthropomorphic terracotta pots, some surmounted by heads or highly adorned equestrian warriors. The pots were placed upside down on the ground above burials and dated from the second to eleventh...

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